Mylan Pharmacuticals link with suicide?

Read this article written by a New Zealand woman, and the experiences she is facing after her sons suicide.

http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/12/mylan-pharmaceuticals-admit-their-drug-is-the-probable-cause-of-my-sons-suicide/

Here is an excerpt:

A couple of days ago, after two years of fighting, I received Mylan Pharmaceuticals assessment of the causal link between their drug Fluox and my son’s suicide. Their conclusion is identical to that of the New Zealand drug regulator Medsafe, that the SSRI antidepressant Fluoxetine is the probable cause of Toran’s death. The rating of ‘probable’ includes an assessment that Toran’s suicide was ‘unlikely to be attributed to disease or other drugs.’

I recieved two documents from Mylan. The first was a record of the adverse reaction report I made to them. It is full of errors. Critically, my son is recorded as having been 19 years old. In fact he never got to be 19, or even 18. He was 17 when he died. He was a pediatric prescription drug user, not an adult as Mylan has recorded.

The second major error is that the person who received the information I reported, recorded that Toran had been diagnosed with depression. Toran did not ever have a diagnosis of depression or any other mental disorder. At the time of his death, his medical records showed ‘diagnosis deferred.’

There are lots of other errors – the dates on which his dose was titrated, the date on which he took three times the prescribed dose and ended up in the emergency room having self harmed, the levels of glucose in his blood prior to starting Fluoxetine, while on the drug and after withdrawal.

The most shocking thing about the form though, is that despite my providing my contact phone numbers, despite my offering to provide Torans medical file and the transcripts of his inquest (in which his clinicians, teachers and others gave evidence on his adverse reactions to the drug), the recorder has finished the report by ticking the box ‘unassessible’ under the heading ‘Causality of Reaction (In the Opinion of the Reporter) which provides the options ‘possible’, ‘unlikely’, ‘unassessible’ and ‘not related’. The definition of unassessable is a report suggesting an adverse reaction which cannot be judged because information is insufficient or contradictory, and which cannot be supplemented or verified.

This makes me unspeakably angry. It takes no small emotional toll to call a drug company and recount the events leading to your child’s suicide. For my report to be dismissed so easily is insulting to me and to Toran.

Perhaps the Regulatory Affairs Team Leader mistook the word causal for the word casual.

This report was sent to Mylan’s UK office for assessment where despite the errors, notably the incorrect record of Toran having depression, the assessment was that the drug was the probable cause of his death.

The Mylan NZ report is here Mylan NZ Causality Assessment

The Mylan UK report is here Mylan UK Causality Assessment

I have written to Mylan correcting the errors in their reports and asking for an amended report to be sent to me along with an explanation of the ‘unassessible’ rating in the face of my clear offers to provide any information necessary for the assessment.

 

More info on the website as link above,

 

Should Suicide be reported in the media?

There has been a lot of discussion about this in the media lately. Should it be reported. Many families would like it to come out in the open. to be reported, so that people can learn more about it. So that families can see the warning signs and learn what they may be able to do to help a loved one , family or friend if it happens.

There was an interesting article in the NZ Herald today about this. Written by a mother of a young man who commited suicide- Sally Fisher. You can see the whole article here on the NZ Herald website

Here is an excerpt: 

“Suicide is a devastating, tangible measurement of the ultimate failure of our mental health services.

I believe that with adequate, equitable services and education, many of these suicides are preventable. A reduction of these figures will reflect an improvement of overall care.

Society rationalises its guilt over these deaths by associating them with negative labels such as drug taking and schizophrenia, although a high proportion of such deaths have no such associations.

All of us have the potential to become suicidal given the wrong set of circumstances, although people have different thresholds as with other illnesses. Ideology drives that these deaths are inevitable and unpredictable yet advances in knowledge contradict this.

As with all illnesses early intervention makes a huge impact on outcome. Mental illness is just the same. Advancements in knowledge and medication make it imperative that this is instituted so that, as has happened with other illnesses such as asthma, the outcomes are markedly improved.

There is a failure to think of mental illness in the same way as other “physical” illnesses. This detracts from rationale management.

The prime example of this is the ideology that suicide is unpredictable. It is as predictable and preventable as a stroke or heart attack, if the warning signs are acknowledged and acted on. This can be achieved by education.

Although there has been progress in the promotion and recognition and community acceptability of mental illnesses the services to manage them have not been put in place.

In particular, the availability of psychological and healing environments in a holistic sense have been reduced, with an increasing emphasis on drug management which may be inappropriate or detrimental.

I believe that suicide should be discussed and reported.”

I have started a thread on on HVN forum would love to hear what you think?